In an important symbol of our nation’s commitment and enduring relationship with the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, on December 5 the United States dedicated a new $145 million American Embassy in Vientiane. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Lao government, media, and members of the diplomatic community.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Lao PDR and the United States and the new embassy will serve our country well in coming years as our two nations work toward new milestones.
The new Embassy campus is situated on a 7.4-acre site in a mixed-use neighborhood, close to the Mekong River. It includes a Chancery, a U.S. Marine Security Guard residence, a utility building, and a parking structure.
The current administrative campus in the downtown area will be renovated and will continue to support the Embassy. The renovations, scheduled for completion in late 2015, will include a new American Center that will be open and free to the Lao public.
In dedicating the new embassy, U.S. Ambassador Daniel A. Clune noted that the U.S. contributes nearly $45 million annually in bilateral assistance to Laos for health and education, economic development and environmental protection, and more, and that he looks forward to working with our Lao counterparts to expand that cooperation over the coming years.
The two and a half year construction project employed more than 900 Lao craftspeople, laborers, office staff, and security personnel. It also incorporates numerous sustainable features to conserve resources and reduce operating costs, including energy-efficient appliances, photovoltaic panels, solar hot water heaters, and drought-resistant landscaping. All wastewater generated on-site is treated and used for site irrigation.
The United States remains committed to a close and productive relationship with the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic for the betterment of both nations and East Asia.